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Keywords:

  • Antimicrobial susceptibility;
  • Bacillus oleronius;
  • blepharitis;
  • Demodex mites;
  • eyelashes;
  • PCR

Clin Microbiol Infect 2012; 18: 1020–1025

Abstract

To better recognize the pathogenicity of ocular Demodex mites, we analysed Bacillus oleronius infection in patients with Demodex-related chronic blepharitis. The studies were conducted on 68 adult patients, in whom ophthalmological and parasitological tests permitted the distinction of a group of 38 patients with a diagnosis of Demodex-related chronic blepharitis (group 1, including a subgroup 1a with moderate blepharitis and a subgroup 1b with severe blepharitis) and a group of 30 healthy individuals (group 2). In every person studied six eyelashes were epilated from each eye and the number of Demodex per eyelash was scored. In parallel, bacterial culture and isolation allowed their phenotypic and molecular identification. The drug sensitivity of the isolates was tested using E-tests. Intensity of Demodex infestation showed no significant differences between subgroups 1a and 1b. From the epilated eyelashes 23 bacterial isolates were obtained, identified as being B. oleronius. All the studied strains were sensitive to ciprofloxacin, doxycycline and gentamicin. The Demodex mite represents an independent aetiopathogenetic factor in blepharitis. In parallel, the parasite may act as a carrier of B. oleronius bacteria, which most probably function as a co-pathogen in the development of severe forms of blepharitis.